The letters of John Hus/Letter 77, To the Faithful Bohemians
LXXVII. To the Same
(June 27, 1415)
God be with you! I had many reasons for suspecting that I was to die on the morrow after sending you my last letter. But I hear that my death is put off, so I am writing to you once more, kind and faithful friends in God, to assure you of my gratitude as long as I have opportunity. I always find it a solace to be able to converse with you by letter, and I tell you God knows why He delays my death and that of my dear brother, Master Jerome, who, I trust, will die holy and blameless and be of a braver spirit in meeting pain than I, a weak-kneed sinner. God hath granted us a long time that we may the better recall our sins and be able to do fitting penance for them. He hath granted us time that a continuous and great trial may destroy great sins and bring us comfort. He hath granted us time that we may remember the foul shame of our King, the merciful Lord Jesus, and meditate on His cruel death, and so bear our sufferings with the greater patience; and, besides this, that we may not suppose that we pass from a banquet in this world to one in the next, but may remember how the saints went through many pains before they entered in the heavenly kingdom. Some were cut in pieces, others impaled, others boiled, others roasted, others flayed alive, buried alive, stoned, crucified, crushed between millstones, drawn in opposite directions, drowned, burnt, suffocated by gags, torn asunder into pieces, and before death shamefully entreated and tortured with imprisonment, stripes, and chains. And who can recount all the sufferings which the saints in Old and New Testament times endured for the truth of God; but especially those who rebuked the wickedness of of priests and preached against them? It will be strange if any one now escapes punishment who shall bravely resist wickedness—in particular of the priests—which doth not suffer itself to be rebuked. But I rejoice that they were compelled to read my books, in which their wickedness was revealed. I know that they have perused these books more carefully than the Holy Scriptures in their desire to discover my errors.
Sent off on Thursday evening before St. Peter’s Eve. Amen.